Samuel L. Jackson is the latest actor of color to accuse the Tea Party of racism.
Late last month, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman blamed racism on the Republican party’s eagerness to see President Barack Obama defeated.
This week, Jackson told a reporter from New York Magazine (after said reporter used the scurrilous Washington Post story on Rick Perry’s so-called racist rock) that the reason Tea Partiers want Obama out because of his skin color, not his policies.
“The division of the country is not about the government having too much power. I think everything right now is geared toward getting that guy out of office, whatever that means,” he said, echoing Freeman. “It’s not politics. It is not economics. It all boils down to pretty much to race. It is a shame.”
Their collective proof is so poorly constructed even a half-asleep Chris Matthews could swat it aside without eyeballing a teleprompter.
Both claim that since the Tea Party is hell bent on removing President Obama from office it must be because he’s black.
That’s it. No swarm of protest signs at Tea Party events trumpeting racist slogans. No quotes from major Tea Party darlings like Sarah Palin that indicate hatred or disdain for people of color. No new proposals designed to specifically injure people of color.
And where were Jackson and Freeman when President George W. Bush called the White House home? The entertainment industry was obsessed with removing him from office. We saw a film detailing Bush’s assassination, read fiction tackling similar themes and watched documentary after documentary imploring us to vote for anyone but Bush.
Was that about race, or did Bush’s critics simply want someone else leading the country?
So, that puts the ball squarely in the media’s court. They’ve got a hot story to work with, one that’s topical and touches on the third rail of our culture – race. And they’ve got two actors ready and willing to plug their latest projects. Freeman is out promoting the surprise hit “Dolphin Tale,” while Jackson is making his Broadway this month in “The Mountaintop.”
Here’s betting both are up for a press phoner or two, maybe more. Will any intrepid reporter ask them to back up their claims? How about asking either fine actor their thoughts on comedian George Lopez calling black Tea Party favorite Hermain Cain “whiter” on the inside?